Earn study points with a course from the Minorities & Multilingualism programme

Do you still need some study points to fill your free space in the first or second semester of the academic year 2020/2021, and are you interested in minorities, their history, their position in society and how they are represented in art and literature? Or are you maybe curious about minority languages such as Frisian, Welsh, or the languages that migrants bring with them if they move to another country?

We have some great courses for you, in which you will gain useful knowledge on cultural diversity and multilingualism, train academic skills such as writing papers and presenting, and gain practical skills such as writing for the internet, making videos and writing policy advices! Below, you can find information about courses in the first and in the second semester offered by the Minorities & Multilingualism BA programme to all BA students enrolled at the University of Groningen.  You can take each of these courses seperately, or you can take a full 30 ECTS package of a number of courses that together form a coherent programme around a certain theme. In addition, if you’re interested in Frisian and already speak some Frisian, you can sign up for courses under the Frisian header: history, lingusitics and old-Frisian. If you are interested in Frisian, but do not speak the language (yet), you can sign up for a course for L2 speakers of Frisian, which brings you from A0 (no knowledge) to B2 in one semester. If you are interested in this course of Frisian for non-Frisian speakers, send an email to a.pot@rug.nl. For information about all other courses you can contact s.j.moenandar@rug.nl. The full list of courses in the M&M programme can be found on Ocasys.

Semester II

Minority cultures

One nation, one culture? When we look at contemporary Europe, it’s actually not as simple as that. Every European nation state knows all kinds of groups who differ from the mainstream culture: minorities. There are historical minorities, who have lived within the current borders of the nation state for centuries, but have, for instance, a different ethnicity, language, culture or religion than the majority of their fellow citizens. In many European nations today, there are also large groups of migrants who have arrived more recently.

Over the seven weeks of this course students will receive a thorough overview of the great cultural diversity of Europe since 1945. We will discuss the most dominant points of view held on minorities, as well as on the gains and threats of multicultural society. Through reading and discussing texts by major authors in this field, students will gain knowledge to help them understand how conflicts come about and how they can be avoided or solved.

One nation, one culture? When we look at contemporary Europe, it’s actually not as simple as that. Every European nation state knows all kinds of groups who differ from the mainstream culture: minorities. There are historical minorities, who have lived within the current borders of the nation state for centuries, but have, for instance, a different ethnicity, language, culture or religion than the majority of their fellow citizens. In many European nations today, there are also large groups of migrants who have arrived more recently.

Over the seven weeks of this course students will be given in in-depth analyses of case-studies, mostly based on ethnographic research. We will discuss key texts on minorities in different parts of Europe.

Interested to get to know the North? Want to work on your social media skills? Want to work on your research skills? This 10 ECTS research course will introduce you to the cultural heritage of the Northern Netherlands. During the course, you will not only be introduced to theories and methods for the study of cultural heritage, but also partake in interesting and fun excursions to historical sites in Groningen, Fryslân and Drenthe, work on your writing skills (with extensive feedback on your writing) and develop your skills in setting up and reporting on research projects.

(10 ECTS)

Discrimination and privilege are never matters of merely ‘one group against the other’. As identities are formed at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, ability and other factors, so are the experiences and positions that people have in today’s globalised and multicultural societies. In this we will discuss histories of separate minority identities, as well as theories and histories of intersectionality and superdiversity. We will analyse patterns of inclusion and exclusion and relate those patterns to issues of e.g. class, race, gender and sexuality, and placing them in larger contexts of nationalisms, colonialism, religion, citizenship and migration.

Multilingualism

In today’s globalised and multicultural societies, most – if not all – people are more or less multilingual. In fact, multilingualism is a phenomenon that has existed as long as people speaking different languages have been in contact with each other – which could very well mean that  that multilingualism may be as old as language itself. In this course, we discuss what happens to languages in multilingual contexts. How are, for instance, grammars and vocabularies influenced in a multilingual setting? We will also discuss issues such as multilingualism in the family and school, and multilingualism by people with atypical minds.

In today’s globalised and multicultural societies, most – if not all – people are more or less multilingual. In this course, we focus on the effects of this on education, as well as how educational institutes can best deal with linguistic diversity. We will approach the multidisciplinary topic of multilingualism and education from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Students gain knowledge of bilingual and multilingual education at various levels and with respect to a range of target languages: majority languages, foreign languages, regional and minority languages and immigrant languages.

Question: which language is spoken in the north of the Netherlands? Answer: Dutch? Well, yes but also many other languages. There is, of course, Frisian, the second official language of the Netherlands spoken mostly in the bilingual province of Fryslân. But there are also regional languages such as Gronings and Drents, as well as the languages spoken by migrants, expats and refugees. The multilingual north is our laboratory during this course. We will discuss how multilingualism relates to, for instance,  aging, healthcare and poverty. This is a very practical course: you will learn how to make videos, set up roundtable discussions on specific topics and write a research paper. We will go on field trips to the three northern provinces (Drenthe, Fryslân or Groningen), after which you will go into the local laboratory by yourself to do your own fieldwork!

Discrimination and privilege are never matters of merely ‘one group against the other’. As identities are formed at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, ability and other factors, so are the experiences and positions that people have in today’s globalised and multicultural societies. In this we will discuss histories of separate minority identities, as well as theories and histories of intersectionality and superdiversity. We will analyse patterns of inclusion and exclusion and relate those patterns to issues of e.g. class, race, gender and sexuality, and placing them in larger contexts of nationalisms, colonialism, religion, citizenship and migration.

Working with cultural & linguistic diversity

This course will introduce students to the multidisciplinary topic of diversity in education, both in theory and as an empirical reality. The course does so from a cross-national perspective.
Alongside academic reflection on diversity in education as an object of study, using concepts, theories and notions from the field of educational studies and other relevant fields, we will look for ways to apply this knowledge in a practical manner to contemporary issues that may be relevant a variety of educational settings. The focus is on linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as on the interplay of both.
Lectures on a selection of topics provide an overview of the latest theories and empirical results on the focal aspects of the field. In addition, exercises and student presentations on several topics around diversity in education will provide opportunities to gain hands-on knowledge. In addition, research skills for empirical educational research will be provided and applied in a research project. Students will present the results of their research in a poster presentation.

This is a course about intercultural encounters – and how to manage them! During this course, we will look at the academic field of study of intercultural communication that studies encounters between different worldviews and you will write an academic paper on a related topic. However, you will also practice the art of diversity management yourself, in simulated intercultural encounters where you are given the role of an cultural consultant who has to solve a communication breakdown in an intercultural setting. For this, you will be taught to take your presentation skills to the next level and then prepare a workshop on an issue of intercultural communication yourself.

Discrimination and privilege are never matters of merely ‘one group against the other’. As identities are formed at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, ability and other factors, so are the experiences and positions that people have in today’s globalised and multicultural societies. In this we will discuss histories of separate minority identities, as well as theories and histories of intersectionality and superdiversity. We will analyse patterns of inclusion and exclusion and relate those patterns to issues of e.g. class, race, gender and sexuality, and placing them in larger contexts of nationalisms, colonialism, religion, citizenship and migration.

Semester I

Minorities in society, culture and arts

This course is about the historical cultural diversity of Europe. How did minority cultures develop over the course of the last two centuries? How did they fight for recognition of their own cultures? As long as such minorities do not have a state territory of their own, their history, language and/or culture are the most important means of binding them together and creating a specific sense of community. During this course, we will look at the different ways in which different minorities in Europe have established such a sense of community. Students will also learn to understand the differences and relations between indigenous, non-migrant minorities, and migrant minorities.

Almost every European nation state houses one or more groups of people who speak a language different from the national majority language. These (ethno)linguistic minorities by definition do not have political sovereignty. Some of these, such as the Catalans in Spain, the Scots in the UK or the Russian-speaking population in the eastern provinces of Ukraine, fiercely strive for a nation-state of their own; others, like for instance the Frisians in the Netherlands or the Sorbs in Germany, seem content with whatever cultural autonomy they have. During this course, we will discuss, analyse and compare such minority groups and their social and cultural position within the different European nation states. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from History of European Minorities I.

In this course, we will look at how arts, culture and media relate to society: do they merely mirror society as it is, including structures of power and dominance, thus leaving as little room for minority identities as society itself? Or can arts, culture and media serve as a space for resistance, from where artists, cultural producers and media makers can intervene in society and attempt to create a better understanding and bring about justice? We do so by exploring case studies from, for example sports, pop music, literature, film, the visual arts and comics. You will write short essays and do an exam.

During this course, we focus on so-called ‘border narratives’: stories in arts, culture and media that describe an encounter between majority and minority cultures. You will be taught methods from narratology – the study of narrative – with which you can analyse such stories. During the course, we will look together at case studies from literature, cinema, documentary and theatre, then you will write an essay about a case study of your own choosing. You will also practice with writing for a broader audience about issues of minority representation in arts, culture and media. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from Minority Languages I.

This is a course for students who want to (further) develop their research skills. The course will introduce you to the craft of qualitative research. It will familiarize you with its key concepts, make clear what methodologically sound qualitative research looks like, and cover in detail the main themes in qualitative research methodology. This skills-oriented course will give you the necessary tools to carry out meaningful, relevant, and successful qualitative research. You will learn how to gather data by doing different types of interviews, and how to process this data through coding and analysis. You will practice these skills during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

This is a great course if you want to (further) develop your research skills. You will be introduced to the practice of quantitative social and behavioral research. You will learn to work with a range of quantitative methods and techniques for data gathering. You will also be trained in doing basic statistical analyses. The course works with a handbook that is introduced in the lectures, while the seminar will offer hands-on experiences with various methods of analyses. You will practice these skills and methods during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

Minorities and their languages

Thousands of languages are spoken on this planet, but scientists predict that only a few hundred of these will survive in the long run. Why do smaller languages die? Can smaller languages be saved? Or would it just be for the best if we all started to speak English? This is a course about minority languages and the people that speak them. In interactive classes we will discuss different case studies from Europe and beyond. We will look at how social and political factors may cause the disappearance of a language – or, instead,  prevent such extinction. We will also look at language revitalisation: is it possible to save a language from extinction by implementing certain policies?

Languages vary and languages change. This is something we all know, but during this course you will learn why a language may exist of many different dialects and why the way we speak changes over time. We will look at how social factors influence language change, and how you can make predictions about how a language will develop looking at linguistic variation. This course functions as an introduction in sociolinguistics: the study of how language, society and culture relate to each other. During interactive classes, seven case studies are explored, helping you to develop research methods for studying linguistic variation and change. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from Minority Languages I.

What is linguistics about? Why study language at all? This is a course for everyone with an interest in languages. It will introduce you to linguistics: the study of language. You will get to know the basic concepts belonging to the core disciplines of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. These are introduced in the lectures. During the seminars, the knowledge acquired is discussed, tested and practiced through interesting exercises in a diversity of languages. There are weekly homework assignments, and a final exam.

In today’s globalised and multicultural societies, most – if not all – people are more or less multilingual. In fact, multilingualism is a phenomenon that has existed as long as people speaking different languages have been in contact with each other – which could very well mean that  that multilingualism may be as old as language itself. In this introductory course we focus on what it means for people to be bi- or multilingual. You will learn about types of multilingual speakers, theories of language learning, the cognitive and neurological effects of knowing and using more than one language, the effects of age and personal experience on linguistic abilities, and the effect of multilingualism on intelligence. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from Introduction to Linguistics I.

This is a course for students who want to (further) develop their research skills. The course will introduce you to the craft of qualitative research. It will familiarize you with its key concepts, make clear what methodologically sound qualitative research looks like, and cover in detail the main themes in qualitative research methodology. This skills-oriented course will give you the necessary tools to carry out meaningful, relevant, and successful qualitative research. You will learn how to gather data by doing different types of interviews, and how to process this data through coding and analysis. You will practice these skills during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

This is a great course if you want to (further) develop your research skills. You will be introduced to the practice of quantitative social and behavioral research. You will learn to work with a range of quantitative methods and techniques for data gathering. You will also be trained in doing basic statistical analyses. The course works with a handbook that is introduced in the lectures, while the seminar will offer hands-on experiences with various methods of analyses. You will practice these skills and methods during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

Frisian courses

Thousands of languages are spoken on this planet, but scientists predict that only a few hundred of these will survive in the long run. Why do smaller languages die? Can smaller languages be saved? Or would it just be for the best if we all just started to speak English? This course teaches students about the general typological traits of minority languages and their speech communities. It helps students understand which social and political factors prevent a language from dying, and how you can make sound predictions about the vitality of a language. Through a number of case studies from Europe and beyond, interactive classes are taught which focus on developing a broad theoretical foundation in our students combined with teaching them practical skills about language revitalisation.

Part two of this course teaches students knowledge about the relationship between linguistic variation and linguistic change. The course helps students understand which social factors influence language change, and how you can make predictions about how language may develop by looking at linguistic variation. Interactive lectures are taught with a focus on developing a broad theoretical foundation in variationist sociolinguisttics. Seminars are made up of 7 practical case studies in which students make a first encounter with research methodologies.

Met dit vak wordt de beheersing van het Fries die is aangeleerd bij Taalvaardigheid Fries Ia,b verdiept. Dit gebeurt door het intensief oefenen van geschreven genres – door middel van vertalingen en vrije schrijfopdrachten – en het houden van uitgebreide mondelinge presentaties of dicussies. De kennis van de Friese woordenschat en het Friese idioom wordt vergroot, terwijl die talige eigenheden, met name op het terrein van de syntaxis, aan bod komen die van rechtstreeks nut zijn voor het schrijven van het Fries.

Deze cursus volgt op Fryske taalfeardigens 2a

Under Fryske literatuer wurdt trochstrings ferstien ‘Frysktalige literatuer’. Mar oft dat ek echt sa is, dat hinget mar krekt ôf fan de definysje fan literatuer dy’t je der op neihâlde en fan de metoade dy’t je hantearje. In literatuersosjologyske benadering bygelyks jout in folslein oar byld as in suver literatueranalytyske metoade, al hielendal wannear’t je de Fryske literatuer út histoarysk eachpunt wei begripe wolle.
Yn dit kolleezje krijt de studint in oersjoch fan de belangrykste aspekten, benaderingswizen, ûntwikkelingen en tema’s út en fan de Fryske literatuer. Dêrby wurdt de Fryske literatuer hieltyd út in bredere kontekst wei problematisearre. Belangrike konteksten binne minderheidsliteratuer yn it algemien, de spanning tusken Nederlânsktalige en Frysktalige literatuer en de ynbêding fan de Fryske literatuer yn bredere literêre en kulturele fjilden, b.g. dat fan de Fryske taalbeweging. Yn it kolleezje is ek bisûnder omtinken foar it trochlibjen fan literatuer en de resepsje fan âldere literêre produkten yn lettere perioaden.
De metoade fan dit kolleezje is dat oan de iene kant de studint oanleart om de Fryske literatuer as lytse literatuer yn in bredere maatskiplike, literêrsosjologyske en histoaryske kontekst del te setten en oan de oare kant alle wiken stikken of stikjes lêst fan belangrike of represintative teksten út de literatuer fan in bepaalde perioade of oer in bepaald tema.
Studinten lêze alle kearen in pear opjûne teksten, meitsje opdrachten en dogge allegear in kear as wat in lytse presintaasje.

Dit fak is in kombinaasje fan de eardere FTC-fakken ‘Taalkunde Frysk: ynlieding’ en ‘Taalkunde Frysk (Taalkunde II)’. Yn it earste blok moat de studint sels de lêst ferskynde Fryske grammatika ‒ J. Popkema, Grammatica Fries. De regels van het Fries. Prisma, Utrecht, 2006 ‒ trochnimme. Dêrneist sille op kolleezje in pear taalkundige ûnderwerpen fan it Frysk behannele wurde. De studint krijt dêr opdrachten oer, dy’t ta doel hawwe om it taalkundich analysearjen fan it Frysk yn praktyk te bringen en sa te oefenjen. Dit part fan it fak wurdt ‒ oan ‘e ein fan it earste blok ‒ ôfsletten mei in skriftlik tintamen oer de stof (Popkema syn grammatika en de behannele taalkundige ûnderwerpen).
Yn it twadde blok sille der ien of mear, yn oerlis te kiezen, taalkundige ûnderwerpen behannele wurde. Yn dit blok moat der in wurkstik skreaun wurde oer in, yn oerlis te kiezen, taalkundich ûnderwerp oangeande it Frysk, dêr’t ek in presintaasje oer holden wurde moat.

Oudfries is de middeleeuwse voorloper van het moderne Fries. Het wordt wel ‘the first cousin of English’ genoemd. Geschreven bronnen hebben we slechts uit de periode 1100-1550; ze bestaan voornamelijk uit rechtsteksten. Docent Anne Popkema, co-auteur van het Altfriesisches Handwörterbuch (2008), voert de student in in de grammatica en de bronnen van het Oudfries. Bij afsluiting van de collegereeks kan de student niet alleen een stuk Oudfries vertalen (m.b.v. de gebruikelijke hulpmiddelen), maar zo’n tekst ook plaaten in de maatschappelijke, politieke, rechts- en taalgeschiedenis van de middeleeuwen. Wekelijkse opdrachten bereiden de student voor op een schriftelijk tentamen en een presentatie aan het einde van de cursus. Het vak staat voor 10 ECTS (280 studieuren).